Security cameras often have both an initial cost and monthly subscription fees (along with optional annual payments to save some money). Sometimes these subscription fees are optional, but you may miss out on so many features that it can be difficult to use the camera otherwise. And some security companies offer multiple plan options depending on whether or not you want professional monitoring, how many cameras you have, and other factors.
Let’s clear up that mess by taking a look at popular security camera brands and what their plans look like. This comparison of security subscription plans will help you find options that work for you.
Ring Protect Basic
Fees: $3 per month or $30 per year
Included features: This plan gives you cloud storage for captured video clips that will last for 60 days, along with the ability to save and share those videos. You also receive features like the ability to take photo snapshots throughout the day, customize “rich notifications” with more detail (like if the cam recognizes a package), and AI to recognize people. Without this plan, you cannot use online video storage with Ring cameras.
Ring Protect Plus
Fees: $10 per month or $100 per year
Included features: The Plus plan is similar to the Basic plan, but it adds an extended warranty to all Ring devices you bought and gives you a 10% discount on future Ring purchases.
Ring Protect Pro
Fees: $20 per month or $200 per year
Included features: This is Ring’s professional monitoring plan, where a monitoring center will also receive alerts and take action if you aren’t available. This plan is bundled with a number of extras, including cellular backup for alarms, Alexa Guard Plus if you have an Amazon Echo device, backup features, and online security.
Fees: $2.99 per month for one camera, or $9.99 per month for unlimited cameras
Included features: Secure adds support for video resolution up to 2K (it’s otherwise capped at HD) and online video storage for 30 days. You also get several video features including animated preview, interactive notifications, customizable activity zones, the ability to call a friend via alerts, and smoke/CO alarm detection if you have compatible devices. It also adds AI detection of people, animals, packages, and cars to the camera. Plus, get a discount on the purchase of future products.
Arlo Secure Plus
Fees: $14.99 for unlimited cameras
Included features: The Plus plan bumps up the potential resolution to 4K (although you’ll need a compatible camera) and adds an emergency response feature that provides additional alert options to automatically call fire, police, or medical responders without needing to find the right phone numbers.
Cam Plus Lite
Fees: This is an odd, donation-like plan where you can name your own price, basically setting it at whatever you think it’s worth. That could include setting it at $0. It covers all eligible Wyze cams.
Included features: For free, Wyze cams offer snapshot video recordings every five minutes … possibly useful, but not especially effective. The Cam Plus Lite plan adds proper recording up to 12 seconds long and more advanced AI that can detect people.
Fees: $1.99 per month per camera
Included features: You get unlimited video recording length, and the camera no longer waits five minutes between recordings. It also adds more AI features to detect pets, cars, and packages. You can fast-forward when watching recordings, use a Web View option to view recordings, and get select Wyze discounts.
Fees: $6 per month or $60 per year — the latest version of Nest Aware covers unlimited cameras
Included features: You receive a 30-day cloud video storage log and the ability to get intelligent alerts that can recognize familiar faces, as well as listen for smoke alarms and the sound of glass breaking. Plus, you gain access to an e911 feature that allows you to quickly call a variety of emergency services.
Nest Aware Plus
Fees: $12 per month or $120 per year
Included features: The Plus plan adds online video storage for up to 60 days instead of 30 and provides 24/7 video history to check for up to 10 days.
Fees: $2.99 per cam to $100 annually
Included features: Eufy separates its video cloud storage into an independent series of plans designed for self-monitoring. These plans all provide the same rolling 30 days of online video storage. They vary in price depending on paying monthly or annually and whether you want to pay per cam or for up to 10 cams.
Fees: $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year
Included features: This security-focused plan doesn’t add video storage, but it does connect you with professional services that help reduce false alarms and add emergency call buttons, and it has a practice mode for arming systems. This shouldn’t be confused with direct, professional monitoring.
Fees: $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year
Included features: This plan adds professional monitoring with a center that’s able to dispatch emergency services at any time, along with more customization options for monitoring settings.
Fees: $3 per month or $30 per year for one device
Included features: Blink is an Amazon-owned company, so you’ll manage these subscriptions through your Amazon account. With no plan, you can only view live video for up to five minutes at a time, with no video storage options. The Basic plan allows you to livestream for up to 90 minutes and adds recording and online storage for up to 60 days (plus the ability to share videos). You can also turn on a photo capture mode.
Fees: $10 per month or $100 per year for unlimited devices
Included features: This plan is primarily for those with multiple Blink cams. It’s similar to the Basic plan but adds an extended warranty and 10% off Blink devices.
Fees: $3.99 per month for a single cam; $6.99 per month or $69 per year for up to five cams
Included features: This plan offers 14 days of cloud storage for your video, in addition to the free options, which include 24 hours of cloud storage, unlimited streaming and downloads, and smart alerts.
Fees: $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for a single cam, $17.99 per month or $179 per year for up to five cams
Included features: This plan increases cloud storage to 31 days, adds AI person detection, and gives you customizable motion zones.
Fees: $9.99 per month for up to five cameras
Included features: This plan skips professional monitoring and gives you unlimited storage to view your timeline events, along with other important cam features like push notifications and a variety of ways to customize your alerts.
Fees: $17.99 per month
Included features: This is a professional monitoring (fire, medical, and police) plan that also adds cellular backup. Note: The plan does not include various features from the self-monitoring plan, such as the ability to customize how to receive alerts. It also restricts online video event storage to seven days.
Fees: $27.99 per month
Included features: This plan includes all the features from self-monitoring and standard monitoring together, including unlimited timeline event viewing, and supports up to 10 cameras. It also adds a lifetime equipment warranty and discounts on future products.
These security platform companies also offer a number of subscription plans. However, their plans are focused on whole-home security systems, and for this guide, we wanted to focus on plans for individual security cams that you would find in many of our best-of lists. SimpliSafe is the brand that comes closest to showing what full home security plans could look like in this guide.
Finally, if you want to avoid subscription fees altogether, you still have options. Many no-subscription cameras use local storage from SD cards and similar solutions, while some offer limited online video storage. Our outdoor security camera guide suggests some of the best options in this category.